Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
Barbara Billingsley (born Barbara Lillian Combes on December 22, 1922 in Los Angeles, California) is an American actress. Her professional name comes from the last name of her first husband, Glenn Billingsley . She was sometimes credited as Barbara Billinsley.
She started her career in New York City, appearing in the Broadway play, Straw Hat, and then worked as a fashion model. As an actress on the silver screen, she had usually uncredited roles in major motion picture productions in the 1940s. These roles continued into the first half of the 1950s and led to lead roles on the sitcoms Professional Father and The Brothers.
She is best known for her role as matriarch June Cleaver on the sitcom Leave It to Beaver. The show ran from 1957 to 1963 and proved to be very lucrative for Billingsley. However, when the show ended, she was typecast as saccharine sweet, and did not receive any acting jobs for years. After a long absence from the public eye, she appeared in the movie Airplane! in 1980. Her most famous line from the film, in which she said "Stewardess? I speak jive!" was quoted in popular culture for many years after the fact.
She appeared in a Leave It to Beaver reunion movie and in a subsequent revival television series, Still the Beaver . At the same time, she did the voice of Nanny on Muppet Babies from 1984 to 1991, and gained a new audience completely.
She and her first husband, Glenn Billingsley, had two sons, Drew and Brud. After their divorce, she married Roy Kellino, and, after his death, she married Dr. William Mortenson.
Some credited film roles
- The Lady Wants Mink (1953)
- Woman in the Dark (1952)
- Invitation (1952)
- Pretty Baby (1950)
- I Cheated the Law (1949)
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